Jaggar Clayton Smith is the teenage driver in Harris County, Texas, who is accused of causing deaths of Salma Gomez and Chloe Robison, after he was drunk behind the wheel. According to a press release from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Smith, 17, was driving his 2008 Nissan Altima southbound on Timber Forest with two passengers, Gomez, 16, and Robison, 16. The press release says that Smith was driving “at a high rate of speed” when his car spun through the center median and rotated counter clockwise. The right side of the car then struck a tree which caused the car to break into two pieces, the front and the back.
The front came to stop on the median while the rear continued to spin and hit another tree. Robison was sitting in the right of the back of car and was pronounced dead at the scene. Gomez had been sitting in the front of the car. She was rushed to Memorial Hermann northeast hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sheriff Gonzalez tweeted that Gomez was life-flighted from the scene “with CPR in progress.”
Smith was also taken to a hospital, Houston Northwest Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries. He was then taken into custody with authorities accusing him of two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter. Click 2 Houston reports that witnesses said that Smith was traveling between 70 to 80 mph in a 40 mph zone.
Smith left jail on July 25 after posting a $60,000 bond on July 26. ABC Houston reports that Smith has admitted to drinking an entire bottle of MD 20/20, a fruit-flavored fortified wine.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Sheriff Has Described the Crash as ‘Very Violent’
ABC Houston reports that the two deceased teenagers were students at Atascocita High School. Click 2 Houston reports that Smith is a student at Kingwood High School. Speaking to the station at the scene, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, “Just to see the devastation, how the metal is torn in half. This is not a major roadway. To see the short distance traveled to speed, you lose control, it’s very violent. Lives torn and lost and families impacted. It’s very tragic.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that the trio were at a “get together” at Gomez’s home. The newspaper says that the “get together” was a reunion for Gomez’s quinceanera from last spring. The Chronicle reports that the three left Gomez’s home headed for nearby Lakeview Park.
2. Smith & Gomez Were Pictured Together at a Post Malone Show in Houston on June 16
Sheriff Gonzalez tweeted to say that the three students “were close friends.”
On June 16, Gomez posted a photo to her Instagram page appearing to show her and Smith at a Post Malone concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. In the caption, Gomez wrote, “My life is so sweet I feel like Cody.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2MiEY2E1ck
3. Smith Is a Wide Receiver on His Junior Varsity Team at Kingwood High School
According to his HUDL page, Smith plays as a wide receiver for the Kingwood junior varsity team. That profile says that Smith is due to graduate in 2020. He is listed as being 6-foot-2 and weighing 150 pounds. Smith’s Twitter page is dominated by sports references, predominantly, football and baseball. His profile photo shows him in action for Kingwood. His cover photo shows him with his teammates. The page has not been active since October 2017. In September 2017, Smith retweeted a message from televangelist Joel Osteen which reads, “God hasn’t failed you in the past; He’s not going to fail you now. Don’t get discouraged by the process.”
4. One Friend Took to Instagram Paid an Emotional Tribute to Chloe Robison on Instagram
A friend, Lou Baires, paid an emotional tribute to Robison on Instagram writing, “i’m at a complete loss for words right now and in such a shock. chloe and i were really close friends in 8th grade and into freshman year of high school. i love u so much chloe. i know u are in heaven watching down on us. i wasn’t close with salma but she was a kindhearted girl and had a contagious laugh. y’all didn’t deserve to leave life like this. y’all deserve nothing but peace. i love y’all so much and rest in peace beautiful girls. please spread awareness.” The Twitter page for Atascocita High School, an official wrote, “We encourage all to come to AHS to remember together. Please join us today and tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00. No one is alone at a time like this. Come in the front.”
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, one of Gomez’s classmates, Camille Turk, said, “She was amazingly daring and this vibrant life and so so gorgeous. And she cared and tried hard…We became close after she comforted me after we lost a tough [tennis] match.” Another student, Halle Sonnier, said, “They were so funny, like not one time, every time I was around them you laugh, you smile, anything they just said was funny.”
5. A Quarter of All Fatal Teenage Car Accidents in the U.S. Involve Alcohol
In the U.S., statistics say that 60 percent of teen deaths in car accidents are related to alcohol. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among 16-20-year-olds. DrivingSchool.net says that drivers under the age of 21 are responsible for 17 percent of fatal alcohol related crashes. Driving School says on their website, “Teenaged drivers and their passengers are hurt and/or killed in motor vehicle accidents for a number of reasons. They are less likely than other age groups to wear seat belts, and they also fall prey to distractions such as cell phone use and texting.” In 2012, of all the fatal crashes involving 15-20 year olds, 25 percent involved alcohol and 37 percent involved speeding. Jaggar Smith is accused of going nearly double the speed limit of the road he was driving on.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission is involving in the investigation to try to establish where the driver got the alcohol.